Threaten Threat"en, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Threatened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Threatening}.] [OE. [thorn]retenen. See {Threat}, v. t.] 1. To utter threats against; to menace; to inspire with apprehension; to alarm, or attempt to alarm, as with the promise of something evil or disagreeable; to warn. [1913 Webster]

Let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. --Acts iv. 17. [1913 Webster]

2. To exhibit the appearance of (something evil or unpleasant) as approaching; to indicate as impending; to announce the conditional infliction of; as, to threaten war; to threaten death. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The skies look grimly And threaten present blusters. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To menace.

Usage: {Threaten}, {Menace}. Threaten is Anglo-Saxon, and menace is Latin. As often happens, the former is the more familiar term; the latter is more employed in formal style. We are threatened with a drought; the country is menaced with war. [1913 Webster]

By turns put on the suppliant and the lord: Threatened this moment, and the next implored. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

Of the sharp ax Regardless, that o'er his devoted head Hangs menacing. --Somerville. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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